Behind the Scenes – The Making of Jerusalem: The Media Myth of Two Cities

With the release of HR’s latest video – Jerusalem: The Media Myth of Two Cities, and the launch of our new Facebook community page, The History of Jerusalem Did Not Start in 1967, I sat down with HR’s Special Projects Editor Yarden Frankl to discuss the making of the film.

Why did you decide to address the issue of Jerusalem now?

The city of Jerusalem is at the center of every story that mentions the peace process. But usually, the media reports it in such a superficial manner that they end up misleading rather than informing their readers.

They have created a popular — but incorrect and damaging – view that there is no Jewish history to the eastern part of Jerusalem.

Such a public perception feeds into campaigns that seek to delegitimize Israel. We felt it was important to create a reference tool that would set the record straight.

You mention that Jerusalem history didn’t begin in 1967. What did you mean by that?

When the media uses phrases such as “East Jerusalem, which Israel conquered in 1967 . . .” they’re misleading readers.

That language implies that Israeli claims to the area only go back to 1967 and are based on a military conquest. It ignores the fact that the city — including what is sometimes called Arab East Jerusalem — has thousands of years of Jewish history.  To begin talking about Jerusalem only from the events of 1967 is to ignore the real story.

You interviewed two Jewish refugees who fled Jerusalem’s Old City in 1948. What’s the significance of their stories?

One of them said it best: “The World knows about the Arab refugees from 1948. Well, there were Jewish refugees too. I know because I was one of them.” How many people really know that thousands of Jewish residents of the Old City were forced out of their homes by the Arab Legion? The media report as if there was no Jewish history in the eastern part of the city. Stories like these women’s accounts are ignored.

This video is part of a series. Tell me more about the series and your next videos.

The goal of the “Few Minutes of HonestReporting” videos is to highlight issues consistently misrepresented in the media. In the future, we hope to look at the media’s obsession with Israel as the cause of Middle East instability, the lack of recognition for Israel’s peace efforts, and the inaccurate portrayal of Israel as an “Apartheid” State.